Phillip Cooke: Choral Music
I am very excited to announce that the first CD of my work will be released on the 21 April 2014. The CD, entitled Phillip Cooke, Choral Music will be released on the Regent Records label and will be available to buy from all good record stores, the Regent Records website and from iTunes. It features 10 pieces of mine from 2008-12 all performed by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Tim Parsons (organ) and Onyx Brass – all conducted by Sarah MacDonald. There will be two ‘launch’ events: the first at Aberdeen University on the 17 March where I will be playing selections from the CD and discussing my work (as well as selling CDs…), the second will be at the JAM concert at St Bride’s, Fleet Street in London on the 20 March where Selwyn and Onyx will perform one of the tracks, The Hazel Wood in a concert that also features Paul Mealor’s The Farthest Shore. I will be giving a pre-concert talk before the concert and selling CDs as well.
9/4/2014: A nice review on the online review site www.crossrhythms.com can be found here. It refers to the CD as a ‘splendid new release’ and states ‘Cooke is influenced by his homeland and writes music that is both original and approachable’ – I’ll take that.
14/5/2014: There was a nother good review of my recent CD Phillip Cooke, Choral Music, this time on the website Planet Hugill by the composer, singer and blogger Robert Hugill. His in-depth review states ‘Phillip Cooke has a personable and characterful music voice…and the final two [pieces] give hints at what he is capable of when writing in a more extended form’. He says lovely things about many of the pieces including: ‘wonderful evocation of certain type of rhapsodic English melancholy’ [Invocation] and ‘a highly effective piece, wonderfully well wrought’ [The Hazel Wood]. The full review can be read here.
23/6/2014: There was a really nice review of Phillip Cooke, Choral Music recently in Choir & Organ magazine. In the review, by Philip Reed, it states: ‘his distinctive, very approachable voice has won many admirers’; [there are] ‘three fine motets (Verbum caro factum est of 2009 is especially effective) and finishes with ‘this generously filled disc is an excellent summary of his career to date’. Thanks.
18/7/2014: There was another good review of Phillip Cooke, Choral Music in the current edition of International Record Review. The wide ranging review refers to an ‘excellent disc’, the Jubilate being ‘very succesful’ and The Hazel Wood being ‘expertly scored for organ and brass quintet’. My favourite line is ‘By now the picture is emerging of a composer who, perhaps deliberately avoids the excessive sweetness to be found in the works of many contemporary choral composers…’. I guess so!
12/8/2014: There was a fifth good review of Phillip Cooke, Choral Music in the September edition of Organists’ Review. In the review, by Richard Lyle, it states: ‘[it] displays a keen sense of what works chorally’ and ‘this is a fine disc by a significant new voice’. Cool…
18/8/2014: Another good review of Phillip Cooke, Choral Music, this time in the current issue of The Gramophone: ‘Cooke is able to compose distinctive settings of familiar liturgical texts’ and ‘excellent performances with some beautifully sustained pianissimos‘. Splendid!
07/11/2014: There has been another excellent review of Phillip Cooke, Choral Music in this month’s Cathedral Music. The review states ‘Cooke has a distinctive and interesting voice’ and ‘Cooke’s musical style is approachable and, not surprisingly, his profile is in the ascendance.’ Kind Words!
15/03/2015: It was great to hear my work Invocation (2010) on BBC Radio 3’s The Choir yesterday. The show was dedicated to works for choir and brass and they played the recording from the recent CD release Phillip Cooke, Choral Music.